jeudi, octobre 25, 2012

I'm Sorry, Mom!

The other day, I had a hilarious conversation with my mom (Hi, Momsie!) where I was telling her all about the theatre stuff going on right now, specifically, about the little video clips I've been sharing here.  And she said, "I went on your blog and watched the first one, but I don't understand what's going on!  Why does that girl shove that bag at you?"

I tried to explain (and I imagine you other non-French speakers are equally at a loss, and for that, I apologize) but explaining these sorts of things never means actually being able to impart why the thing is funny.  Or not.

So, preemptively:

Mom, I'm sorry.  You are so not going to get this one. 

The whole premise is making fun of horribly dubbed American soaps on French TV.  The whole joke is how the actors who do the ridiculously bad dubbing get distracted.  Believe me, it's funny in French, but almost because it is so bad.  It's the kind of humor that makes you groan.  The kind where you are almost mad at yourself for laughing.

Okay, I'm totally laughing over here just remembering it. 

God, it's dumb.  But it's so funny.

mardi, octobre 23, 2012

One Thing

I came across this today, and had to share.

“The plain fact is that the world does not need more successful people, but it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.” – David Orr

I don't know who David Orr is (will Google that later) but Amen, brother.  Amen.

samedi, octobre 20, 2012

Monday Night Teaser # 2

I am so proud to be a part of this movement.  Monday night was one of the most magical moments of my life.  Stay tuned for the complete video!

jeudi, octobre 18, 2012

A little taste of what happened Monday night.....

More on the way.....

lundi, octobre 15, 2012

Bida bang!

A little taste of some of our awful humor ...

For a bigger dose, don't miss "Tutti la Tutti" playing every Friday at 9:30 PM at the Comédie Tour Eiffel!

mardi, octobre 09, 2012

Save Acting International

As most of you know, I enrolled in a professional acting school here in Paris, and spent two years learning the tricks of the trade from a diverse group of passionate, dedicated and amazing teachers.

Today, that school, Acting International, is in grave danger.  This summer the founder, Mr. Robert Cordier, was summarily dismissed from his own school by the current director, on trumped up charges of professional misconduct.  This was merely a ruse to take total control of the school, and most importantly, the enormous profits it generates.

The vast majority of the professors signed an open letter of protest and were immediately fired and replaced within days by an unsuspecting corps of new staff, only too happy to be a part of what was once considered a prestigious institution. 

A petition to oust the current director is currently circulating, and if you should feel so inclined, your signature and support to reinstate Mr. Cordier would be much appreciated.

You can also keep abreast of the developments in this fight by clicking on :

And by showing your support on Facebook, for those who have accounts :

If you believe in justice, in the generous and selfless transmission of art and knowledge, please help us save our school.

Thank you.

jeudi, octobre 04, 2012

Ta ta ta ta-ta-ta ta ta ta!!

Here's a litte taste of what's in store for you when come see "Tutti la Tutti" at the Comédie Tour Eiffel :

Every Friday night at 9:30 PM!

mercredi, septembre 12, 2012

Fridays with Tutti

Starting on October 5th, "Tutti la Tutti" is back on stage every Friday night at 21h30 at the Comédie Tour Eiffel.

Come check it out!

mercredi, juillet 11, 2012

We Did It!

After four successful performances of "Tutti La Tutti" in June, and three well-received performances of "III Superpositions de Richard III" - which culminated in a smashing final performance on Monday- I can honestly say that I am in seventh heaven. 

Both projects involved lots of hard work, a good dose of frustration and doubt, and - once the dress rehearsals started - tons of fun.

I realized recently that this was my first "full" Shakespeare play.  I totally get it now why it never gets old.  I could happily have played Queen Elisabeth hundreds of times.  I like that she's unlikeable in the beginning, and then wins your heart through her universal suffering and her thirst for revenge.  I feel this incredible strength in her when she faces down Richard III to save her remaining child's life.

Now I have to figure out how to do a full Shakespeare play in English.  That will be a real challenge.

Debriefing with the director minutes before the last performance
(I apparently hang on his every word...)

Are we getting a reminder of the fourth wall here, or do we just think the lighting guy is hot? 
Just kidding, Handsome!  You are the hottest lighting guy out there.

mercredi, juillet 04, 2012

That Went Well!

After four successful performances at the Comédie Tour Eiffel, Tutti La Tutti is currently in discussions to see what we will be up to next!

In the meantime, come see me give a deformed mass murderer hell in :

I play Queen Elisabeth.  She kicks ass.

More later!

lundi, mai 14, 2012

Tutti la Tutti

I have lots to share about my recent trip home, but first things first. If you're in Paris in June, and feel like visiting one of the city's miniscule theatres, come see the show!

vendredi, mars 16, 2012

Cultural Differences - Volume 23587

There are many things you have to adapt to when you move to France as an American, and one of the biggest changes to get used to is a very different kind of customer service.

I try to adjust my expectations of what I can reasonably ask for and I always, always remain polite. I have gotten angry, of course, and I don't tend to let myself get taken advantage of, but I do try to approach things from outside the American point of view. Which often means taking a deep breath and remembering that three weeks is an acceptable amount of time to wait for something.

But today, on a day when the worldwide airline reservation system futzed out, making it impossible for me (or anyone else) to reserve a simple Paris - NY round trip on Air France (what is up with all these worldwide outages, people? Facebook? Outlook? Amadeus? 2012, you are freaking me out) I had to adjust to the fact that I cannot perform a simple task for my boss. (He doesn't know yet. He will not be happy.) It isn't a customer service issue necessarily, but it is annoying nonetheless.

OK, I thought, to distract myself, I will just check on this order I made for some birthday flowers to be delivered to a friend.

I went to the website, put in my codes, and I got a message saying, "Your delivery date is too close to your request", which made absolutely no sense to me, so I called the customer service number. I got a recording that said - no lie :

"If you are calling to check on whether an order has been delivered, please be notified that confirmation is only possible the day after delivery has occurred."

That is truly fucked up, people.

I mean, really? A nationwide florist can't tell me my order has been delivered on the day it was delivered? A florist. You know, the kind of place where people like to surprise other people with gifts on specific days for specific occasions?

I give up. For today, I give up.

I think I'll go to a café terrace, soak up the shyly emerging spring sunshine and get terrible service from a surly Parisian waiter instead.

That should cheer me up!

jeudi, mars 01, 2012


Do you ever have one of those moments where you think you have completely lost your mind? Where you hear a rushing sound in your head as time comes crashing to a halt and your vision gets reduced into a fish eye while you are thinking, "Am I totally crazy? Or worse, really, really stupid?"

This just happened to me. I was on the phone with my company's new travel agency, getting flight times for an upcoming trip for one of my bosses. The conversation went like this :

Me : "Hello, my name is Penelope. I'm Mr. So-and-So's assistant and I'd like to get some flight times between either Paris and Moscow or Marseille and Moscow on May 1st."

Travel Agent : "What city will he be arriving to?"

Me (slightly perplexed, but overexplaining it as usual) : "He's not sure if he will be leaving from Paris or Marseille, so he'd like to compare the options to arrive in Moscow on the evening of the 1st."

Travel Agent : "Yes, but what city does he want? There are several."

Me : (briefly wondering if she is asking me whether he wants to arrive at Domodedovo or Sheremetyevo airport, but wonder why she didn't say 'airport'. Rushing sound, fish eye vision. I swallow hard.) "Moscow?" (I search in my head to find if there even exists a way I could mispronounce Moscow in French so as to be incomprehensible. I also wonder why on earth we changed agencies.)

Travel Agent (very huffily) : "Fine." (commences typing)

Me (can't help myself) : "Excuse me for saying this, but last I heard, Moscow was a city."

Travel Agent : (more furious typing, followed by a deafening silence) "Oh. I don't know what I was looking at."

Me (relieved to be actually sane) "That's okay. So let's start with what you have arriving in the evening from Paris."

Why oh why did they change? American Express Havas, I miss you!

Plus, when you get huffy because there are a bunch of words you don't know how to pronounce on your screen? Maybe you shouldn't be a travel agent. Just saying.

jeudi, février 09, 2012

Stupid Blog Meme I Couldn't Resist For Some Reason

On my daily perusal of some of my favorite blogs, I came upon this meme, and for some reason, even though I have never done one before, I felt like doing this one.

So please indulge me. (All three of you.)

A. Age: 40 (Weep!)

B. Bed size: Queen, I think. It's the single most expensive purchase Handsome and I have made (well, besides the apartment itself, of course) but it is so, so worth it. I love that bed.

C. Chore that you hate: ironing, vacuuming, folding fitted sheets.

D. Dogs: No thank you.

E. Essential start to your day: fresh squeezed lemon juice. Ever since my osteopath recommended it, I can feel the difference when I don't do this in the morning, so I do it.

F. Favorite color: Red. Duh.

G. Gold or Silver: Silver, I guess, though I don't wear much of either. I do have a lovely Tiffany's charm bracelet that a dear friend gave me. Whenever I wear it, it makes me feel strong and lucky and loved.

H. Height: with or without high heels?

I. Instruments you play: Oh god, this is so pitiful. My poor mother made me take piano lessons until I was 13, as well as flute and piccolo, and I had a brief but ill-fated fascination with the guitar and the accordeon. All this to say that once I hit 13, I was through with that shit and all about being a teenager. And today, I cannot remember A SINGLE THING. I can no longer read music or play a single note on any instrument. Isn't that just, sad? My poor mother. She meant well! And, now, I wish I could play something! Life is weird.

J. Job title: who gives a shit? Okay, fine. Executive Assistant. Blah.

K. Kids: Hope springs eternal.

L. Live: Paris, France (It was a lifelong dream to be able to write that! Huzzah!)

M. Mother's name: Daphne. (Gorgeous. Both in name and person)

N. Nicknames: I have had oh so many. Current ones include Miss P and Cheetah, but my family calls me Neppie. NO ONE is EVER allowed to call me Penny. Ever. Some of my favorite past nicknames are Reiderstein / Reiderberg and P Lopez. Lopey Lopes was pretty good, too. These were all from waitressing days. You amuse yourself however you can in that highly stressful job, what can I say?

O. Overnight hospital stays: This is what they came up with for the letter 'O'? Whatever.

P. Pet peeves: Misspelling and non capitalisation. (Yes, I am an old fart.) Being interrupted. People who are eternal victims.

Q. Quote from a movie: "You talkin' to me?"

R. Right- or left-handed: Right

S. Siblings: One older sister who I don't see enough. Hi, Sis!

U. Underwear: Usually mismatched and old. I can't bear to pay the prices they ask for decent stuff over here. No way am I paying 50$ for a mediocre bra made in China that isn't even the right size.

V. Vegetable(s) you hate: Cooked endives. Blech.

W. What makes you run late: My nature.

X. X-Rays you've had: Teeth, knee, lungs, you name it. When you emigrate, you get thoroughly examined.

Y. Yummy food that you make: My signature dishes are steak au poivre and gratin dauphinois, but I absolutely love to cook, so I am constantly expanding my repertoire. I just recently mastered the tarte tatin. Old style. Yum!

Z. Zoo animal: Giraffes always amaze me, and the elephants make me all gooey. The big cats are awesome, too. Oh, hell, all of them but the snakes and spiders. Anaconda ---- aaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

vendredi, janvier 20, 2012

The Goal Post

It's January, 2012 is a new year, and it is time for The Goal Post. (Get it? I crack myself up!)

First off, a quick rundown of how I did on my list last year :

1. Get a French driver's license. - Um, no. I still could not find the money or the willpower to fork out over a thousand bucks to go through 20 hours of obligatory driving classes (!) and the tests. This is the year, though! Really. No, really. Seriously, finally Groupon and Living Social Deals are offering some really discounted packages, and the next one that pops up near my neighborhood, I am jumping on.

2. Stay with the recent motivation to do an exercise DVD twice on the weekend. - Um, ha? Twice on the weekend is no more feasible than twice during the week for me. I even signed up for yoga classes and went - twice. Ugh. But I will keep on trying.

3. Spruce up the apartment. - Ha! Book unit thingy not yet painted (but on the list of things to do in the coming week). Grey curtains for the bedroom and replacement curtain rod, ha! Recover sad Ikea chairs - um, not yet? But I am coveting the purple covers and as soon as I can justify the expense, I'm doing it! (Must add cat phereomone spray to list of items to order from the US. If Oscar even thinks about scratching the new covers once I get them, HE's being sent to the US!) However, people! We bought a good deal (on Groupon) on handyman labor, so we are going to schedule the remodeling of the kitchen and bathroom for February or March. I am very excited about this!

4. Keep some goddamn plants alive in the window boxes. - YES!! My first realised goal!! Plants still alive and thriving. Well, most of them. Let's just ignore the window box in the bedroom, shall we?

5. Continue with the positive internal monologue. - YES!! My daily mantra is pretty much fully integrated, and it has helped tremendously with absolutely everything.

6. Get my varicose veins fixed. - YES!!! Those fuckers are GONE. It cost me some dough, but I can at least break out the skirts without feeling self-concious. About my legs, that is.

7. Do one hard thing every day. - Well, I called the nurses, does that count? No, really, I do okay with this, but I can't in all honesty say I do this every day. But I have been better about consciously choosing to do one thing I am dreading and it helps a lot. Just yesterday I did one thing I was trying to avoid, and it felt so much better to just do it than it would have felt to avoid it. This is one of those lessons I have to constantly re-learn.

8. Do one kind thing every day. - Once again, I can't say I do this every day, but I have been better about choosing kindness. Just as a recent example, I helped an elderly lady who fell in the street; walked her home and bandaged her up, and called to check on her days and weeks after. She gave me a little trinket as a thank you that is sitting on my desk. This goal is definitely a keeper.

9. Finish fixing my acting resumé, send it in to the new casting director, get her to pick the best head shots and SEND THEM OUT. - No. Does it count that I joined an acting troupe, an amateur school, and am now the replacement instructor in a third class? No? Okay, I can see why not. But I'm not sure I care about this one this year.

10. Go on at least one casting call. God. - Ditto.

11. This is really shitty of me, but I'm keeping this one to myself for a while. - Some progress on this one, but still keeping it to myself. Still shitty of me!

I didn't do too badly, overall. Five out of eleven? Eh, I'm not sweating it. January is all about starting over, anyway.

So in addition to the goals I am keeping from last year, this year's list looks like this :

2012 Goals

1. Do one hard thing every day.

2. Do one kind thing every day.

3. Keep up positive internal monologue.

4. Exercise at least twice a week. Weekend, weekday, who cares. Twice.

5. Spruce up apartment.

6. Get a French driver's license.

7. Apply for French citizenship. - This calls for tons of official papers, (Hi, Mom! Hi, Dad! You are forewarned!) ridiculous translation fees and a two-year wait to see if you are approved, but I would be really proud to be a dual citizen.

8. Keep plants alive. - Well, more plants.

9. Go home for a visit. - So far I can't afford the tickets, but I will make this happen in 2012.

10. Take a ride in a hot air balloon. - I really regret not doing this in Turkey, where it was much cheaper, but who knows where I will go in 2012? This one is probably more of a lifetime goal. I won't mind if I don't get to this before the year is up.

11. See a play at the Comédie Française. - I just found out they were on strike (no comment) and that the theatre is undergoing a renovation, so this might not be the best year to do this. Let's just call it a lifetime goal.

12. See an opera at the Palais Garnier. - A friend and I tried to get tickets for a performance in February, but the only tickets were 140€. No fucking way am I paying that to see an opera, Palais Garnier or no. Lifetime goal?

13. And the one I am keeping to myself is still on the plate. Huzzah!